In concierge practices, the membership fee is traditionally an annual fee; In DPC, your membership fee is traditionally a fee charged monthly, quarterly, or annually.
Concierge doctors often charge more in annual fees than the average DPC doctor. Although the average fee is around $1,800 a year, some concierge practices charge as much as $25,000 annually! DPC fees typically range from $600 to $1,500 per year.
Generally, concierge doctors also accept insurance; in addition to the annual fee, they bill insurance for each patient encounter. This means that patients may get “surprise bills” several months later after insurance pays their portion (of an amount typically not revealed to you until you get your bill). With DPC, insurance is not billed.
Also, because concierge doctors typically bill insurance, they are held to several insurance regulations including MACRA/MIPS and other documentation requirements. Since DPC does not bill insurance, they are not required to follow these regulations, enabling the physician to document more efficiently and not waste their time with checkbox documentation.
With concierge, because they accept and bill insurance, they are required to collect copays at each visit. DPC clinics do not bill insurance, so there are no required copays for each visit.
Concierge physicians typically have higher overhead costs, owed in large part to their acceptance of insurance which is required to negotiate insurance contracts, bill insurance, process insurance payments, and then resubmit bills when the insurance fails to pay in a timely fashion (which happens all the time). Since DPC physicians do not bill insurance, they do not require staffing and overhead to manage these revenue cycles, resulting in lower overhead.